French brand Balmain plans to open its first London flagship on South Audley Street in Mayfair, a rapidly expanding thoroughfare around the corner from Mount Street. The 2,000-square-foot store will open early 2015, and will be designed by Joseph Dirand, the architect who oversaw the transformation of the house’s Paris flagship in 2009. The store’s exterior is made of stone, while the front window and glass entryway are framed in black lacquer and gold leaf.
“The concept behind the design for Balmain’s original address was to create a uniquely elegant space—a Parisian townhouse—where the house founder, Pierre Balmain, would have been very much at home,” said Dirand. “This London flagship translates that French refinement into an English vocabulary. I like to think of this new address as the founder’s second home, Pierre Balmain’s London pied-a-terre.”
The doors, ceilings, mirrors and large stone fireplace are all inspired by Queen Anne Revival – a common style in the Mayfair neighborhood – while the stone floor’s geometric design is a contemporary play on traditional English parquet patterns, the company said. Dirand has also created pieces inspired by the house founder’s favorite mid-century French furniture designers, André Arbus and Jean Royère. “If Pierre Balmain had moved to London, he would have brought the furniture he loved along with him.” The sleek antique brass and polished stainless steel fixtures are similar to those that Dirand designed for the Paris flagship.